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MikeRichardson

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About MikeRichardson

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  1. I am pleased to announce the availability of every single HCTRA Financial Report since 1983 (excluding 1986). https://hctra.co/financials/ (do not link directly to PDF files because I plan on standardizing all the names so as to make the list easier to use). For FY1986 I'm going to attempt to contact some county officials, that seemed to have been quite successful in getting the turnout information for the 1983 ballot measure. Althought it won't be the county clerk this time, maybe Harris County Treasurer?
  2. Why should HCTRA have any business making investments when they themselves owe over $2 billion on bonds. These are investments specifically allocated to HCTRA. HCTRA would not need to issue so much debt if they weren't buying debt from freaking New York and New Jersey! That in and of it's self is a form of manipulation - so that the debt service is never paid off. It's also why HCTRA is so aggressive about pursuing new toll roads that nobody even asked for. There's dozens of projects that HCTRA has attempted to start or get it's hands into, fortunately most of these have failed. The difference between driving on a state toll road vs a HCTRA road, is that you are not supporting the HCTRA entity, which I am no big fan of.
  3. I prefer the state highway "Beltway 8" (aka the feeder) on the weekend when I go to visit my mom. Using the toll road would cost me $9 every weekend and would not save that much time. This only works if I don't have to wait more than one cycle at any light, though. I work from home though, don't have to commute for that. I don't understand the people who do not have toll tags who use the toll road. You lose all the time savings waiting in that line to pay the toll. You would save time and money just sticking to the free state highway right next to the toll road.
  4. Every HCTRA financial statement going back as far as I have found, contains a variation of the following statement: It is important to note that it does NOT say that the roads will be made free. However, I would rather drive on a state toll road than a HCTRA toll road. I think it's also extremely obvious that HCTRA has been manipulating their financials to ensure that the debt service is NEVER paid off. HCTRA has over $1 billion in "Total Cash & Investments". They even have investments made in school faclities in Arizona, a water authority in Georgia, $15 million in the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey! Why is HCTRA not using this massive war chest to pay off their bonds instead? It also pisses me off that they continue to deny having printed the above pamphlet and even deny the statement in their own financial documents. I am currently looking for a high quality scan of the pamphlet. I am also curious as to what TV news may have reported back in the 80's. Source: https://hctra.co/financials/ (HCTRA has removed older financial reports, I have made them available again at hctra.co).
  5. https://capitol.texas.gov/tlodocs/86R/billtext/pdf/HB00436I.pdf#navpanes=0 (also attached to the thread) News coverage: http://www.fox4news.com/news/north-texas-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-end-tolls-on-toll-roads-after-they-are-paid-off https://cbsaustin.com/news/local/a-new-bill-could-make-toll-roads-free-in-texas https://abc13.com/politics/is-this-the-end-of-toll-roads-in-texas/5152215/ First question: Does this even apply to the "authorities" - HCTRA, MCTRA, et. al? Or just the State Toll Roads? How would they manage to unwind HCTRA's incredibly convoluted accounting (merging all the roads into a "pooled project" at a county commissioners meeting that took place only a week after 9/11). HB00436I.pdf
  6. Somehow I only heard about this today. I knew about the ones earlier in the year. https://www.chron.com/business/real-estate/article/Randalls-to-close-Montrose-area-store-13347808.php Those stores are now already closed. While I was confirming that, I found an article about a 7th store! https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/katy/news/article/Randalls-closing-surprises-some-customers-13472090.php That's 7 freaking stores closed in a single year - 2018. They seem to be doing fine in Austin though, where they somehow actually managed to build a brand new store a couple of years ago. I don't think it was a replacement store or anything either. https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2017/03/23/austin-suburb-lands-new-retail-center-anchored.html I want to slap the people who keep repeating the same garbage about the "high prices". Yes, it was true a long time ago. It is no longer true anymore. I also shop at Kroger regularly. The prices are basically the same as Randalls. They both average out to about the same.
  7. I used to walk to high school before I got a car. Our neighborhood, built in 2002, had sidewalks, but as soon as I got to Grant Road - nothing. My mom contacted some county official, probably the commisioner, around 2003. In 2017 a sidewalk was finally installed. Partially - it terminates right before the school. Because that makes sense?
  8. There is a neat little apartment complex right next to The Georgian that I never even knew existed - it's got maybe 10 units in two buildings, with covered parking spaces. That will probably survive quite a bit longer because the land is not a large enough parcel to interest the developers. Unfortunately, The Georgian is yet another example of medium-low density being replaced with medium-high density. A marginal improvement in density - but it's also understandable that they would not try for a highrise there given that it abuts directly to single family homes. (whatever happened with Ashby anyway)
  9. Here's some pictures I took on the 6th. https://mikerichardson.name/tidbits/the_georgian/ Wasn't going to walk too deep into the property since anything was liable to fall down at any time. I wonder how much those townhomes rented for. I've not seen those at the other Swain & Houck properties. BTW, this was the last Swain & Houck property that had remained. The first to go was off of Allen Parkway if I recall. I was one of the last people to move from the last building on Westcreek - the one that they let sit and rot for 2+ years before tearing it down, instead of renting it out and collecting money. Because logic.
  10. Come on, really? I knew the owner of the shop there. Remember, I lived on Westcreek for over 3 years. The owner of Westcreek Market ran an honest business. He had cheaper prices than the Mobile or Exxon or whatever the hell it is at the opposite end of the street at San Felipe. I am not stupid and I understand how private property works. Westcreek Market should have owned their land but we all know that any price within the last 10 years would have been absurd. RIP Westcreek Market. If anyone around there wants a decent price on a bag of nuts or a 12 pack of coke or whatever, drive on down to the CVS, for as long as that might continue to exist. The least you can do is say, "RIP". I actually lived there. I actually patronized businesses around there. Hang me out to dry, I could give a shit. I care about honest men making an honest living. That includes: the operators of Westcreek Market, and even the workmen who build River Oaks District. It does not include people who judge from afar, living in suburb that's not even freaking HARRIS COUNTY, based on some wet dream that they have of the inner loop, that they might happen to drive through once or twice a year. I just hope that not too many affordable places are plowed over every year or GUESS WHAT? We will wind up EXACTLY like California. Go ahead and flame me, watch me care.
  11. I loved that super arbitrarily outdated Walgreens right there. Always had what I needed in stock. Now I have to go out towards Highway 6 :/
  12. Is it just me or do I vaguely recall hearing at one point in time that this connector was to be free of tolls? And, now, of course, "tolls"?
  13. Interesting factoid: More county residents, as a percentage of residents, voted on the 1983 toll bond election, than voted on the recent 2018 flood bond election.
  14. A small update to the site. The county clerk wrote back with the actual final numbers from the 1983 Bond Election. Here are the final numbers: http://hctra.co/elections/Final Cumulative Report-September 13, 1983 Harris County Bond Election.pdf
  15. Who else remembers drivng down Westheimer, circa 2009 or so? These people would jaywalk across the steet like ther name was goddamn Westh. E. Timer or something. You slow down, of course, unless you are arbitrarily homicidal. But now they have cars, I guess? And they are running the fu*king lights. Watch the intersection of Westheimer and Rogerdale for half an hour at dusk or nightfall. One time I was going south on Rogerdale to my apartment, at that intersection. The light was red, and so I was changing the radio station or something. I looked up, and the light was green. Then I looked left. Some piece of worse than human shit blows through the light. Who the F_CK knows who they actually killed that night. I shouldn't have my life just because I didn't care for what Mix 96.5 was playing. To be far, this has also happened to me in the county (unincorporated areas) a few times. But far more often in the city. The worst would be tow truck drivers. How many handjobs do they give to the state? I reported one tow truck driver to the city and state. I had a MOTHER F_U_C_K_I_N_G dash cam video of them blowing through a 4 way stop, after I had just barely started to go through. I made an abrupt left (safely) to obtain their information. Everything was on video - it was absolutely the same tow truck piece of shit, continuously. The city never replied, and the state bascally told me to go thousand dollars myself. Accordng to the "Great" State of Texas, and the City of Houston, we can all go F_CKING die. Edit: You censored the post, so I made the expletives worse, but added underscores to them. Either you are on the side of people who want to live or people who are forced to die. Do not fault me because I am passionate about the subject.
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